Someone needs to be sheared.
The 19 hour bus ride to Rio de Janeiro was quite good thanks to our friend, the sleeping pill. "What? It is 10 in the morning already? Can I sleep a little more?" So after a solid night of sleep, we arrived at noonish and got onto a bus to meet Danilo´s parents at a hotel in Copacabana. We arrived to the hotel with our huge, dirty backpacks where we were greeted by a receptionist that looked like a model... rather awkward. However, what did suck was that Danilo´s folks wouldn´t arrive until the next day at 5am, because there was a storm and apparently Brazil´s airports are strike, although the airlines and the government deny this and simply call it chaos. By the way, Brazil has a way to deny reality sometimes, which might be because of their unflagging opmitism ("tudo bom?") but this can also be really nice and make your day better.
Since Danilo´s folks couldn´t arrive on Saturday we took the first day to wash our clothes (much needed to say the least) and walked around Copacabana and Ipanema. At Ipanema, we decided to go to a restaurant called "Garota do Ipanema" in honor of the song, but bad service and a rather disgusting Feijoada greeted us. Damn restaurant chains... We got a nice dolce and some beer to wash out the taste while we watched the waves break at the beach. We watched a movie and relaxed to round off the day... The next day we had a nice breakfast with Danilo´s mother (Annetta). Ridiculous breakfast. Flavio eventually woke up, and we were on our way. We walked around a bit in Copacabana and Ipanema, watched some sweet soccer voleiball (no arms allowed and yes, quite impossible unless you are Brazilian) and grabbed a cab to Leblon
where apparently best restaurants are located.
So many tourists!
We found a really nice Japanese restaurant, where we ordered a 63 piece sushi delight. We love sushi, and it was some good sushi. Yum. Afterwards we walked at the beach of Leblon for a bit and then went back to the hotel so D´s folks could catch up on their sleep after their midnight odyssey. We went to buy some beer to watch the Chile - Brazil game. The game was like old times with Danilo and Flavio cursing at the TV, and Chile loosing to Brazil 3 to 0 (the score sounded worse than it was). At night we went to a really good seafood restaurant where we got to met our soon to be eaten fish/friends. Delicious friends. The food was spectacular and the conversation was good... The good life... Our third day in Rio started with a trip up to the Cristo Redentor, which overlooks the city.
Flavio, Annetta, Emily, and (slightly less furry) Danilo with Rio behind
To say that it is touristy is to understate the matter, however the view was breathtaking and worthwhile. Somehow somebody forgot to mention to us that Rio is a gorgeous city surrounded by water and hilly forests, which burst from unexpected places, including the sea. Amazing. However, for those reading this we would like to mention that if you are taking pictures of yourself with your arms spread out with the christ in the backgournd you, 1) look like an idiot, 2) are likely hitting somebody with your arms, 3) are for sure blocking scores other people from walking. So please try something more creative next time... may we suggest mooning Christ? Just for giggles of course. When we got down the hill we went to meet Annetta´s Carioca friend, Regina, at the most confusing mall ever (she works at an office tower there).
We enjoyed a really nice lunch together, where Emily continued her salad eating frenzy. D´s folks stayed back shopping, while we went back to relax and take care of some business. At night we went to Regina´s house close to the Maracaná stadium, where we ate amazing food cooked by like 8 Brazilians. Oh man, was that good. Regina, much like her friends, is really jovial and nice, which is actually what most Carioca´s are like. She was a great host and utterly satisfied with food we went back to Copacabana.
The last day we spent all together we went to the botanical garden (after another long visit to the Chilean consulate, good times!). The botanical garden was really nice and quite big. Per usual, the male Cortes´ were late and Emily had a salad, what´s new? We walked around took a few pictures and relaxed with Annetta and Flavio. Nice and mellow, just how we like it. Afterwards we went to hotel, relaxed some more and went out for dinner one last time. The dinner was some really good gnocchi and Tiramisu. And just like that, our vacation with Danilo´s folks was over. They left early in the morning, while we slept. Our last ridiculously good breakfast was served. For our last day we walked a ton. We started by walking across Copacabana and eating a couple of delicious sandwiches of chicken, cheese, and pineapple (ridiculously good). Then we went to Sugar Loaf, one of those forest hills sticking out of the water. Since we didn´t want to be stuck in a capsule with 50 tourists (and pay the 70 reales to be honest) we walked up the first foresty hill, which wasn´t too bad and looked over Rio for a good hour taking pictures and soaking it in. Danilo keep trying to film the planes taking off, which he did accomplish on his 7th try. Love him for trying though. On the way down we saw some monkeys and just like that our Rio experience was over. Grabbed a long bus to the station and we were back at the rodoviaria for an overnight bus, this time to Curitiba